In the early 1990s, during a period of high crime in Boston, Rickey "Fuquan" McGee's family moved to the Fenway area, where they were one of the few black families in the neighborhood. As the sole young black man living there, he was frequently viewed with suspicion and was stopped and questioned by law enforcement approximately 47 times within a span of two years. On April 16, 1997, Rickey made a routine stop at Christy's convenience store around 10:30pm, and later that night, he, his mother, and a family friend had drinks and food at a local pizza shop before returning home after 2am. Unbeknownst to them, the store clerk at Christy's was found fatally shot around 2:45am. Despite being seen on video surveillance at another convenience store at 2:40am, a family friend later alleged that Rickey confessed to the crime, leading to his conviction for first-degree murder 18 months later.
Rickey's conviction was based solely on alleged confessions provided to incentivized witnesses, as no other evidence connected him to the crime. The case was plagued by corrupt law enforcement officers who threatened potential defense witnesses and fabricated evidence to fit their narrative. However, no fingerprints, video surveillance, murder weapon, eyewitnesses, or credible confessions tied Rickey to the crime. Despite the injustice, Rickey remained a positive influence within the prison system, organizing programs, events, and initiatives aimed at rehabilitation and education. He has made a profound impact on the lives of other incarcerated individuals and has created legislative bills, curriculums, and mentorship programs for the youth.
Rickey "Fuquan" McGee's potential for positive change and impact is enormous, and his release is crucial to continue his work in helping rehabilitate incarcerated individuals and promoting justice within the criminal justice system. He is a highly qualified individual, having demonstrated success and leadership from within the prison walls, and his freedom would allow him to expand his efforts in aiding not only incarcerated men but also women, children, and at-risk individuals. The time to free Fuquan is now, as his valuable contributions to society can only grow once he is given the opportunity to fully engage with the community and advocate for reform from a perspective of lived experience.
On this women history month, pay attention to the cries of our mothers whose loved ones have been wrongly imprisoned. Do the right thing. Overturn Commonwealth v. Rickey McGee.